Lock and load, mortgage shoppers, because years from now, even decades, you’ll look back on these rates as the good old days.
The U.S. fixed-rate mortgage market has not only settled at an historic bottom, it seems intent on digging even deeper.
Here are the numbers, as measured by the BankingMyWay Weekly Mortgage Rate Tracker. Thirty-year mortgage rates dipped below 5%, going to 4.97% from 5.04%, while 15-year fixed-rate mortgages are scraping the bottom at 4.46%, down from 4.5%.
Adjustable-rate mortgages aren’t as uniform, with one-year ARMs plummeting to 4.21% from 4.92%, while three-year mortgages took an opposite tack, rising to 4.42% from 4.41%. Five-year ARMs also rose to 4.33% from 4.23%. It’s been a nice ride as of late for adjustable-rate mortgage holders, with short-term rates especially knocking down mortgage rates and, in the process, monthly mortgage payments for ARM holders. That’s the one mortgage demographic that won’t appreciate the numbers we’re seeing this week.
Other than that, what’s going on with diving mortgage rates? It’s no mystery. While rates remain in what Wall Street mortgage traders refer to as a "contained range," the steady drift downward portends no confidence at all in an economic recovery. The trigger this week — and there always seems to be at least one weekly trigger — was last week’s housing start number.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, via The Washington Post, housing starts "unexpectedly" fell back in October, "calling into question the strength of housing recovery." Housing starts fell by 10.6% in October, after a revised 1.9% gain the month before.